The University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center has released findings at the 251st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), specifying that blueberries lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The super fruit has already been linked to lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer with its anti-oxidant activity. These substances, called flavonoids, prevent the devastating effects of this increasingly common form of dementia.
The researchers presented the impact of two studies on cognitive performance. One study involved 47 adults aged 68 and older, who had mild cognitive impairment, a risk condition for Alzheimer’s disease. The adults consumed either freeze-dried blueberry powder, which is equivalent to a cup of berries, or a placebo powder once a day for 16 weeks.
The second study included 94 people aged 62 to 80, who were divided into four groups. The participants didn’t have objectively measured cognitive issues, but they subjectively felt their memories were declining. The groups received blueberry powder, fish oil, fish oil and powder or placebo.
“Our new findings corroborate those of previous animal studies and preliminary human studies, adding further support to the notion that blueberries can have a real benefit in improving memory and cognitive function in some older adults,” said Robert Krikorian, Ph.D., leader of the research team.
“There was improvement in cognitive performance and brain function in those who had the blueberry powder compared with those who took the placebo,” Krikorian said. “The blueberry group demonstrated improved memory and improved access to words and concepts.” The team also conducted functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which showed increased brain activity in those who ingested the blueberry powder.
“The results were not as robust as with the first study,” Krikorian explained. “Cognition was somewhat better for those with powder or fish oil separately, but there was little improvement with memory.”
American Chemical Society